Netflix Film Review: The Boy Next Door (2015) @TheBoyNextDoor @JLo #TheBoyNextDoor @ryanAguzman @Netflix @thefilmreview @ianmnelson95 @Lex_Atkins @KermodeMovie

check out my film review and Netflix blog at https://filmmovietvblog.wordpress.com

Having recently separated from her philandering husband, lonely classics teacher Claire (Jennifer Lopez) has a night of passion with her new next door neighbour: young, sexy, super-intelligent Noah (Ryan Guzman) who’s moved in to care for his frail Great Uncle. Unfortunately for Claire, Noah is a not a one night kind of guy. There’s a fine line between “persistence” and “harassment”, and Noah isn’t even trying to tread it.

The Boy Next Door is a paint-by-numbers thriller-stalker. But despite giving the impression that writer Barbara Curry watched hundreds of films in the sub-genre in order to compile a checklist with which to construct this cliché-Bingo of a movie, the film is exceedingly entertaining. That’s an unfair assessment of the script, anyway, as Curry based the story on her own personal circumstances, so all clichés are real, probably. None-the-less, let’s tick the clichés off.

Lonely and beautiful female lead? Check. Too good to be true younger male love interest? Check. Son who gets turned against his own parents by aforesaid love interest? Check. Stalking love interest who tries to ruin his lover’s career in order to, bizarrely, drive her back into his arms? Check. Final showdown where the adulterous husband gets the chance to redeem himself heroically? Check. Murder afoot? Check. And it goes on and on.

But the film has a lot of good points. Actions have consequences, and everything follows through logically. Okay, some of the deeds are a bit over-the-top, but everything feels internally consistent with the overriding logic of the film. Tonally the film is also consistent, and it zips along at a thrilling pace. There’s very little fat to cut. The acting is mostly convincing, particularly believable was Claire’s son Kevin (Ian Nelson), and Jennifer Lopez gives an understated and believable turn as Claire, although our two main protagonists do slightly ham it up as the tension reaches boiling point. The odd absurdity aside — Noah giving Claire a “first edition” of 2800 year old work the Iliad, a poem which has been in print in English for hundreds of years, the book itself clearly a twentieth century printing — this film is well-crafted and does what it says on the tin. I was on the edge of my seat and totally absorbed in the film world.

Is it a great work of art like the Iliad it keeps mentioning? No. Is it even a “good” film? Well, no. It’s unoriginal and often absurd. But is it entertaining? Absolutely. It holds a mere 11% rating on Rotten Tomatoes which is definitely unfairly harsh. Probably the best “bad” film I’ve seen in a while. Artistically-speaking, this feature only warrants two stars. But it’s just so damn enjoyable, that I have to give it a three!

3/5

© 2019 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://eatingfastfood.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/the-boy-next-door-movie-poster.jpg

 

BTW I Told You So (Game of Thrones) #GoT #Doggerelizer

 

By the way, I told you so. About the ending of Game of Thrones, I mean. I had been telling my mates that we would not get the happy ending to Game of Thrones that some wanted (I say “some”, because I wanted it to end badly for our heroes, as befitting both the aesthetic of the show and my own misanthropic tendencies). I’ve just found some proof that I wasn’t merely lying about having foretold key aspects of the ending like everyone else who claimed they “knew all along” how it would end. See my post from September 2017 that I’ve just stumbled upon having forgotten I’d written it. Particularly note my following predictions.

Daenerys dying… Dany going schitz on power / refusing to bend the knee to Jon.

I just think that [a happy ending] would not suit the world that’s been built up. Even if things end “well” (= white walkers and Cersei being killed, some good guys staying alive), I can’t see everyone remaining unscathed. One or more of Dany, Jon, Arya, Sansa have to die, and die horribly.

So I was right about one those characters dying, about Daenerys definitely dying, about Daenerys definitely refusing to bend the knee to Jon, and about Daenerys definitely going mad with power. It was obviously the ways things had been going as Dany had been getting increasingly haughty. This is why I just cannot understand the people who passionately argue that the writers just ruined her character in order to be all twisty; guys, Dany’s arc had been becoming clear for seasons, her ultimate descent being fairly well foreshadowed. What really happened is not bad writing, but that people did want to see the increasingly obvious because this went against their own desires for a Spielbergian ending where Dany and Jonnie have little Targeristarkling sprogs and live Happily Ever After.

I’m not saying the final season or its writing was perfect. I certainly think some of my ideas for the final season, as outlined in that post, were particularly good, and would have been great additions to Season 8. My favourite ideas of my own include:

  • The Dothraki go nuts and start raping and pillaging which turns the layfolk against the Dany-Jon biumvirate, perhaps necessitating Jon or Sansa to backstab;
  • Ned Stark, or anyone of our other favourite dead characters, coming back in white walker form for an emotional, zombie-esque, ‘I don’t know if I can kill you! I still see the real you in that skelly shell!’ moment of emotional, heart-tugging drama;
  • The white walkers taking over and destroying Westeros / the World;
  • The good guys win a Pyrrhic victory; Westeros is so ruined by everything that there isn’t much of a world to rule over now. And the weakened Pyrrhic victors, are left open to attack from foreign marauders … just then, some crazy mothers from Essos appear in their ships on the horizon, dun dun dun! End of the world as we know it. End of Series.

But that is a whole other post discussing what I felt was good and bad about Season Eight, and what opportunities I feel the creators expertly delivered on and failed to deliver on. But this post is about something different: about how I WAS RIGHT about Daenerys.

© 2019 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Song: “Monday Morning Mishap (Never Make Tea In The Nude)”

Going through my old files, and I found this absolute gem that I boshed off, apparently at exactly on the 1st of June 2008 at 4pm. Forgotten I had written it. This was classic me from around 2008; silly, surreal, nutty, smutty. Wish I had my blog then! In any case, despite not remember having written it, as soon as I saw it, I remembered the tune I came up with to go with it. Maybe I’ll post the tune in the future. In any case, this is a song, hence it is not 100% metrically consistent from a poem standpoint.

SONG: MONDAY MORNING MISHAP (NEVER MAKE TEA IN THE NUDE)

[VERSE 1]

Got up feeling groggy,

Body somewhat soggy from the night.

Demons and devils, nightmares straddled me,

Screeching in me lugs when I was sleeping, wrapped up tight.

 

But now awake

I make a cuppa rosy in the kitchen,

This languid body’s twitchin’

‘Cos of warm, wet Rosy Lee it’s itchin’.

 

Fill the kettle with brown water from a rusted tap,

Seethin’ liquids, pour the water, kettle handle snaps,

I wouldn’t mind too much I swear but only for the fact,

That my John Thomas hanging out was scolded to the sack.

 

[CHORUS 1]

Never make tea in the nude.

Never make tea in the nude.

I ain’t a prude, just please, be shrewd,

And never make tea in the nude.

 

It really ain’t that clever

To expose your old fella

‘Alf a kettle tests your mettle

An’ leaves ya feelin’ yella

 

So never make tea in the nude

 

[VERSE 2]

Several years long after that

My wife long-since departed

Not from her death, but death of sex,

My piston’s not since started

 

She said I stank, and drank a lot,

An’ was a useless prannock,

But worse disgrace, a waste of space,

Now that I could not fill her crannock.

 

If you ask me in the pub at five thirty I’ll say

That she’s a fuckin’ whore, a slut, an’ I left her that day,

But come the tollin’ of the bell at closin’ time pissed up,

I’ll tell the truth, an’ climb the roof, an’ threaten to jump off.

 

It happens every night, last night was no exception,

This morn a banging head, black eyes, and half a recollection;

So I take my medicine, half a pint of gin,

An’ an English fry up, to my dosser day begin.

 

A fryin’ pan of butter, sizzlin’ sausages,

Some rashers, mushrooms, and brown bread,

Just what old Frankie needs;

The chocka-block brown-rusted pan

I popped in there three eggs,

But I slipped, the handle ripped,

Fried sausage ‘twixt two legs.

 

[CHORUS 2]

Never make eggs in the nude.

Never make eggs in the nude.

I ain’t a prude, just please, be shrewd,

And never make eggs in the nude.

 

It really ain’t that clever

To expose your old fella

A full up pan sears ya man

An’ leaves ya feelin’ yella

 

So never make eggs in the nude

Never make eggs in the nude

Don’t be like Frank who’ll no more wank

Never make eggs in the nude.

Never make eggs in the nude.

Don’t be like Frank who’ll no more wank,

And never make eggs in the nude.

 

 

Bryan A J Parry 1st June 4ish pm. 2008

© 2019 Bryan A. J. Parry

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I’ve Gone Viral on Twitter

 

I’ve gone viral on Twitter. Well, maybe not viral, but as near as viral as I’ve ever gone. Let’s say I got a minor case of the shits if not a full virus. One of my tweets has garnered 539 comments, 1458 retweets, and 3054 likes. This is far more than I’ve ever “achieved” before. It was actually a bit of a thrill seeing the likes tot up in real time, I won’t lie. It was quite a rush; now I get why some people chase likes and retweets like dirty twitterwhores.

Funnily enough, whilst I stand by my comment in the tweet, it’s weird how so many of my (don’t laugh) witty tweets or pithy yet deeply analytical and interesting tweets do not gain traction, but for some reason this one did. Don’t understand it, but I hope I go viral again soon.

[Note: this was back in May, but I’ve had an enforced absence from blogging since then, hence the delay]

© 2019 Bryan A. J. Parry

HBO Series I Wanna See Get Made

We’re living in a golden age of TV series, especially for fantasy and science fiction adapted from works of literature. I’m thinking especially Game of Thrones and The Man in the High Castle. And I’m now keenly awaiting the upcoming BBC series based on Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. This gives me hope that maybe some other of my favourite books might get adapted — and adapted well! I previously foretold there would be a series of Lord of the Rings, and it’s actually now happening.

Earthsea. Classic Ursula Le Guinn fantasy series set on a world of islands. This phenomenal world of creative genius needs a wider audience.

Discworld. This could actually be multiple series, with each based on one set of characters. Each book more-or-less can be one season, all books could form the whole series. Focus on maybe wizards, city watch, death, nowt else. Or a series based on one of the set of characters, e.g., the City Watch, but with each book more-or-less being a season. In any case, there are loads of great characters and stories to come out of the fertile mind of the late, great Sir Terry Pratchett.

Stargate. I want a total reboot, remake, reimagining of the Stargate and SG1 franchise. Get back to the basics of the Von Daniken Chariots of the Gods theory that the very most ancient gods were actually extraterrestrials, keep it with the Egyptian and Babylonian gods. Stargate SG1 had a very Star Trek: The Next Generation vibe of intergalactical banterous romp; I would want a reboot to have a darker, “edgy” DS9 type vibe.

image from https://atlanticjaxx.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/paul-kidby-disque-monde-the-great-a-tuin-2.jpg

© 2018-2019 Bryan A. J. Parry

Random Images 39: Fat #Random #RandomImages

Fatso1.

Random Images 38: Desperation #Random #RandomImages #Offensive

despair.

Netflix Film Review: No Good Deed (2014) @Netflix @thefilmreview @KermodeMovie @idriselba

check out my film review and Netflix blog at https://filmmovietvblog.wordpress.com

Idris Elba is Colin, a charismatic and violent sociopathic criminal on the lam and winner of the Most Unbefitting Name Ever Award. Whilst making his escape, he totals his car into a tree and legs it through the forest. The first house he stumbles upon is that of all-alone Terri (Taraji P. Henson) who is just putting her young kids down for the night. This charming stranger works his charisma, asks for help after his “accident”, and talks his way from the porch into the living room. Soon Terri is putty in his hands. But as they say, No Good Deed goes unpunished.

No Good Deed is a fairly standard crime thriller, but I mean that in the best way. It is gripping, entertaining, keeps us on the edge of our seats, but doesn’t really show us anything we haven’t seen before. Great performances from the small cast really sell this film and keep you engaged to the end.

There is one stand-out moment, however, an unexpected plot twist that made me choke on my coke and splutter, “Ohmigod, whuh!?”. The twist is really neat. But it isn’t so much clever, as the rest of the film is so run-of-the-mill, that you kind of don’t expect the twist at all. The twist is particularly effective as it isn’t done merely for the sake of it, as so often is the case, but actually has a punch which makes sense and gives an underlying logic which holds the picture together. I’ll stop there before I plot spoil.

All in all, a standard but very well-made and well-acted crime thriller which is a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend 84 minutes.

3/5

© 2018 Bryan A. J. Parry

YouTube Video: University Dissertation Research Project: Pronunciation of British English #VolunteersNeeded #HelpPlease

Link to the Study.

© 2018 Bryan A. J. Parry

Netflix Film Review: Ghost Story (2017) @Netflix @ghoststorymovie #GhostStoryMovie


Starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, this is A Ghost Story told from the perspective of the ghost. But unlike classic Oscar winner Ghost, where being a ghost is portrayed much like being alive, A Ghost Story paints a more realistic picture (if ghosts are realistic at all, which they aren’t): the ghost is silent, unable to effect change in the world, and robbed of all that made him a personality in life, such as voice, memory, and that dreamy Patrick Swayze quiff.

Ghost Story makes some interesting choices. It’s shot in 4:3, although it’s not apparent why. The ghost is portrayed as a man with a sheet over his head which, believe it or not, does actually work and isn’t ridiculous as it surely deserves to be. And our spectral protagonist never utters a word in death. The film is a tale of loss and how you struggle to come to terms to loss.

Well, “protagonist”, “tale”, “struggle”. Perhaps those aren’t the best words. The film actually has no plot whatsoever, let alone “tale” or “struggle”, and the “protagonist”, such as he is, doesn’t “tagonise” anything. And when I say “no plot”, I don’t mean in that hyperbolic jargonised English that “his head LITERALLY fell off”; I mean, quite actually, there. is. no. plot. Therefore I can plot spoil without plot spoiling for there is no plot to spoil. The unnamed couple cuddle in bed for several minutes without talking. Affleck’s character dies, which we don’t see. Mara’s character then sits around doing nothing, and I mean nothing: we see her eat a pie, in real time, for a full ten minutes. Eventually, she moves out of their house, someone else moves in, then they move out, then someone else in, and so on, until the house is knocked down. The ghost silent watches all of this. Fin. Literally nothing happens, and there is no character arc for our ghost or plot development.

Aristotle wrote in his Poetics, some 2300 or so years ago, that drama needs the following elements: a beginning, a middle, an end; plot, character, diction, thought, spectacle, music; a single central theme whose elements are logically related; that the dramatic causation and probability of events hangs on the characters’ actions and reactions; and catharsis of the spectators, that is, “to arouse in” spectators “feelings of pity and fear, and to purge them of these emotions so that they leave the theatre feeling cleansed and uplifted”.[1] A Ghost Story has none of these apart from “spectacle” (nice cinematography and visual effects) and “music” (sound effects, which were effective in building atmosphere). The whole film, in fact, feels exactly like a five minute A-Level student’s film project which has been inflated to 92 minutes and a massive budget.

Here are some snippets from IMDb user reviews.

“Worst film I’ve seen in a long, long time. 1/10”
“What a total waste of time. 1/10”
“Like watching paint dry. 1/10”
“Enough to make you think you have died! Do not bother! 1/10”
“Truly awful. 1/10. Boring, pretentious, irritating, amateur, self-indulgent”
“High rating on IMDb is inside joke about this movie. 1/10”
“The director thinks he’s Bergman and he is not. 1/10”
“A wonderfully hypnotic and philosophical film exploring the enormity of life. 8/10”
“A mind-alteringly realistic depiction of human life. 10/10”

This film isn’t so much “Marmite: love it or hate it”, as it is “hate it, or brainwash yourself into thinking you love it”. Do not believe the many wanker reviews or critics that have boosted this to a very respectable 6.9 on IMDb and, extraordinarily, a 91% Fresh Critical Consensus on RottenTomatoes.com, who declare that this film is “powerful” with a “passionate couple” at the core. The film is no such thing. It is self-indulgent crap at its worst. This really is a case of “the Emperor has no clothes”; fearful, mindless, cretinous film critics rate it highly as they are scared that to do otherwise would make them appear uncouth and uncultured and probably get their next schmooze fest invitation cancelled. Above all, nobody wants to say the emperor has no clothes.

The film’s not even saved by the “so bad it’s good” factor; this is the most tedious, boring piece of shit I have ever watched. And I do mean “ever”. Good news, though; that I managed to make it through the film without turning off or tearing my own eyeballs out means that the instanews social media whizz-bang world we now inhabit hasn’t completely destroyed my patience. One out of five — for spelling its own name correctly.

1/5

[1] https://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/a/agamemnon-the-choephori-and-the-eumenides/critical-essay/aristotle-on-tragedy

© 2018 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://image.tmdb.org/t/p/original/sD94aixD7fMAc2e9ugbv4KQprBL.jpg